Creating a larger, more highly skilled nursing workforce will improve access to higher-quality, more patient-centered, and more affordable care. That is especially important now: Demand for nursing care is growing as the population ages and millions more people are entering the health care system under the Affordable Care Act.
You may have seen the reports ( 2012 update and Alternative Assumptions) by Eugene Steuerle and Caleb Quakenbush from the Urban Institute showing lifetime taxes paid and benefits received from Social Security and Medicare. The authors estimate that an average male who earns the average wage during his working years and turns 65 in 2020 will pay $77,000 in Medicare taxes and receive $232,000 in Medicare benefits. These numbers vary by gender, marital status, age, and year in which the person turns 65, but the general story is the same -benefits received exceed taxes paid.
President Obama first nominated Marilyn Tavenner to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) almost 2-1/2 years ago. She's been running the agency, the federal government's largest, as acting administrator for more than a year. CMS has a $820 billion budget, oversees health insurance for 100 million Americans and is charged with implementing the health care law.
The subject of raising the minimum wage has been a theme in the news for the last several weeks. You might be surprised to learn that many home health aides will see no benefit from any possible bump to the current $7.25 an hour rate - I know I was, when I read an article from CNN Money posted on one of my new favorite blogs, The Voice of Aging Boomers. It turns out that many home health aides are grouped with babysitters in U.S. labor laws, and so those who hire them are exempt from paying them anything more than what you give that nice high school girl to watch your 12-year-old when you go out to dinner for the evening.
President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney donned their blue and red ties, respectively, and took to the stage Wednesday evening for the first presidential debate of Election 2012. With little more than a month before Election Day, it was interesting to finally see the two men come face to face. In the 90-minute televised debate broadcast from Denver, Obama and Romney covered ample issues of import to older adults, including Medicare, Medicaid, health care reform and Social Security.
A study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine says that when states expanded their Medicaid programs, fewer people died. It may seem common sense that giving low-income Americans more access to affordable health care results in them having better health (and subsequently lower death rates). But critics of Medicaid expansion contend the program does not improve the health of beneficiaries and may even be linked to worse health.
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